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All Posts in Category: Health Basics


A couple of weeks ago I read an article that said several people who had successfully battled the Coronavirus (CoVid19) had lost their senses of smell and taste. The article went on to say some people reported this as the only symptom they had. When I read this I immediately thought of Zinc. Zinc is required for our senses of smell and taste to work properly. Zinc is an essential mineral. It is a component of over 200 enzymes in our bodies. That’s more than any other mineral.

When we consider the most common comorbidities seen with CoVid19, diabetes, pre-diabetes, or a BMI over 30 (overweight/obese), we see a possible connection with zinc. Zinc is needed for the production of insulin. Zinc decreases as we age.

Severe zinc deficiency is rare in developed countries, but marginal zinc deficiency is common. This is particularly true in the elderly (another CoVid19 risk factor). The loss of the sense of taste and smell is a common complaint in the elderly.

Zinc regulates the activity of our genes. It helps to maintain the integrity of membranes resulting in the protection against oxidative injury. Zinc is required for a number of immune functions, including T-lymphocyte activity. Zinc deficiency is associated with atrophy of the thymus gland.  Zinc has been found to reduce the incidence of childhood pneumonia by 41%. That’s more effective than any other treatment studied. Zinc is present in high concentrations in red blood cells. Zinc is an integral part of the enzyme carbonic anhydrase. This enzyme is responsible for rapid release of carbon dioxide in the lungs. In double-blind studies, zinc supplementation has shown to decrease the duration of colds by 7 days. This is why zinc is found in throat lozenges and many OTC cold and flu medicines. Zinc’s antiviral properties are well established in the research literature.

Zinc is critical in the production of male hormones and prostate function. Zinc is highly concentrated in the prostate gland and deficiency contributes to the enlargement of the prostate. Zinc supplementation has been shown to reduce the size of the prostate in the majority of patients. Zinc deficiency decreases male sperm count, motility and increases infertility. During puberty there is an increased requirement for zinc due to increased hormone production. Some researchers believes this is why we see the emergence of acne during puberty.

The need for zinc is well established. We cannot be healthy without adequate zinc. The very best way to get any nutrient is through our food. The zinc content of selected foods in milligrams/3.5 oz. serving are as follows:

Oysters, fresh 148.7
Pumpkin seeds 7.5
Ginger root  6.8
Pecans  4.5
Split peas, dry  4.2
Brazil nuts  4.2
Whole wheat  3.2
Rye  3.2
Oats  3.2
Peanuts  3.2
Lima beans  3.1
Almonds  3.1
Buckwheat 2.5
Hazelnuts  2.4
Green peas  1.6
Turnips  1.2
Parsley  0.9
Garlic 0.6
Carrots  0.5
Whole wheat bread  0.5
Black beans  0.4

I hope you’re eating several of these foods several times each week. If not, you might want to strongly consider supplementing your diet with a food based nutritional supplement. I use a quick Zinc taste test in the office and find most people are deficient. The RDA for men is 11mg/day, and 8mg/day for women. Taking more than the RDA is needed to overcome a deficiency. Once the deficiency is satisfied it’s important to take zinc in a balanced formula so as not to throw off the balance of minerals with Copper and Iron.

Consider the following products from Standard Process that I use frequently:

  • Zinc Liver Chelate 10mg Zn, contains liver, beet root, carrot and oat flour.
  • Chezyn, a balanced source of zinc (10mg), Iron (5mg), and Copper (0.2mg).
  • Immuplex, which I have previously strongly recommended contains 4.5mg of zinc per capsule and a ton of other good stuff.
  • Trace Minerals B12  Zinc 2.7mg, Iron 1.4mg, Copper 0.3mg, and Iodine 145mcg per tablet and other whole foods.

It will be interesting to see in the years to come if Zinc deficiency is a common finding in the people who have had the hardest time handling the Coronavirus. I am not suggesting zinc deficiency is the sole answer, but I believe it should be seriously considered as a contributing factor.

Nutritional deficiencies are rarely isolated. If we find ourselves deficient in one mineral or vitamin there are probably several deficiencies. Taking a whole food based multivitamin/mineral is a reasonable thing to do. I wish the health care establishment would spend just 1% of their money and effort researching the fundamentals of human health rather than looking for the exotic cure-all medicine or vaccine. Unfortunately, vitamins, minerals and whole, natural foods cannot be patented so there is no financial incentive for companies to invest in the research. It’s up to us to use common sense, good judgement and the obeyance of the laws of nature to protect ourselves. If an individual’s zinc level is low, it will make them more susceptible to viral infection. They’ll use up any available zinc as the immune system ramps up. This would leave them with an even more significant zinc deficiency, and thus the loss of smell and taste.

I hope you have found this information helpful and thought provoking.  Please let me know if there are any topics you’d like me to research and address. Please feel free to share this information with any healthcare providers you know who are treating CoVid19 patients.

Dr. David Pence

P.S. Here’s some food for thought…

Is CoVid19 caused by a deficiency of Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin?

Does everyone who is exposed to the CoVid19 virus react the same way?

If a vaccine is developed will those people who choose to take it all react the same way?

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Pence Sense: Immune Support

Unless you’ve been living under a rock somewhere, you’re likely feeling some anxiety or possibly fear over the constant news reporting on the Coronavirus.  I want to share my opinion with you to calm your concerns and give you tools to be in better control of your future health.

First, I want you to be assured we are following the guidance of the CDC and the Tennessee Department of Health regarding our practice protocols.  It is our goal, like everything we do, to exceed those recommendations.

The family of Coronaviruses are not new, and man is not extinct.  Viruses are part of everyday life.

Let’s assume we’ll be exposed to this newly identified virus either this year or in the future.  What can we do to improve our ability to survive and thrive ?

I can sum up my approach with the phrase… “Move Well, Eat Well, Think Well.”

#1: Move Well

If you haven’t seen your Chiropractor recently for a check-up and adjustment, you need to do that now.  The presence of spinal subluxation will prevent your nervous system from functioning at its best.  Our ability to adapt to stress and mount a robust immune response is controlled by our nervous system. It is the interface between who we are and the environment around us.  In my 38 years of practice I can clearly see that people who get adjusted regularly are healthier.

Get a little exercise, but not to the point of exhaustion.

#2: Eat Well

Our bodies work well only when they receive the proper nutrients, in the right amount and form, from the foods we choose to eat.  In general I advise focusing on God-made foods rather than man-made processed foods. Organic fresh vegetables, fruits, wild fish, meat, nuts and seeds are ideal. Drink enough clean spring water to keep your urine clear.  Eat protein three times a day and avoid the starches (bread, potatoes, pasta and rice) to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Avoid sugar.  Sugar will decrease the immune response by 50%!

Our diets are pretty horrible compared to our ancestors.  I don’t eat a perfect diet and even when I’m trying I know the foods I’m eating were likely grown in nutrient depleted soil.and don’t contain the same nutritional value as the same foods grown even 50 years ago.  I take food based nutritional supplements to fill in the gaps and make sure my body is getting what it needs. I recommend you take them as well.

Foundational support for nourishing and supporting the immune system should include a variety of supplements and herbs.  Ideally a one-on-one evaluation to determine your specific needs would be best, however most people will benefit from a few basics.

1) Echinacea Premium (Medi-Herb)

Echinacea works very well to help prepare the immune system for challenges.

2) Immuplex (Standard Process)

Think of Immuplex as a multivitamin for your immune system

3) Calcium lactate (Standard Process)

This is the right form of ionized calcium our tissues need to kill bacteria and viruses.

4) Cataplex D, or Cod Liver Oil (Standard Process)

Vitamin D helps move calcium from the gut to the bloodstream.

5) Cataplex F (Standard Process)

This is the right type of essential fatty acid to help transport calcium from the blood into the tissues (lungs, mucous membranes, heart, liver, etc.) where it’s needed.

6) Thymex (Standard Process)

This is a thymus gland support product that helps stimulate our defense mechanisms against bacterial and viral infection.  It will support production of killer T-cells.

These are a few of the nutritional tools we use daily in the office and that I take. You can learn more about them at  There are others, including some antiviral liquid blends we will recommend if you are actively fighting a viral infection. The purpose is to support a normal healthy immune response.

I recommend everyone strongly consider taking the first three listed if you’re not already. Add the second three if you’re in a higher risk group or just want to do your best.

If you’re not already taking these supplements and would like to start, you can call us during office hours at 615-794-3002 or email us any time and we can have them delivered to your door within 2-3 days.

#3) Think Well

Mental, emotional and spiritual health have a direct impact on our physical health. Limit how much time you spend watching the news. If you feel burdened by a particular emotional or mental stress this would be a good time to get up the courage to confront it and handle whatever it is.  Free up some space in your head and your heart.  Talk to God and give him a chance to talk to you by reading his Word.

I hope this information is helpful for you and your loved ones. Please never hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have. Let me close with a quote from the Great Physician.

“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on.  Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not worth much more than they?  And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?  And why are you worried about clothing ?  Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will he not much more clothe you ?  You of little faith !  Do not worry then, saying “What will we eat?” or “What will we wear for clothing?”  For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Be well,
           Dr. David Pence

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